This reading method was developed by Phoebe Walters. She was a mathematician, logical thinker and child lover, dedicated to obtain only the best results in her education career. In 1938 she began teaching and came to the realization that many learners already 2 to 3 years in school still could not read or spell properly. Not only did this dent their self-confidence, but it kept them from performing well in the other school subjects. The learners took too long in learning to read using the prescribed methods.
Eventually Phoebe Walters developed her own methods, during the 1940’s, on which children, as well as adults, could learn to read. Many of her learners were then taught to read within 3 to 4 months.
She taught at the “Protea Place of Safety” in Port Elizabeth, a school where pupils came and went, of whom many only stayed for a couple of weeks or months. There she had Grade 1’s, 2’s and 3’s – both Afrikaans and English. The standard of these learners’ reading ability was very bad and kept them back in all their other subjects, which resulted in her ‘neglecting’ the other subjects and instead concentrating more on reading. It was then when she developed these reading methods which resulted in a satisfactory standard of reading with her learners.
During her education career she never allowed a learner to see wrong answers in their books regarding mathematics and the wrong spelling of words. She saw to it that each learner, under her supervision, rub out the wrong answers and write down the correct ones. She also made sure that the learner always understood the correction. She believed in educating learners whilst building a positive self esteem and that no person should in any way harm a learner’s self-esteem.
In loving memory of Phoebe Walters (developer of these reading programs) and Hiletje Andersen (daughter of Phoebe Walters).